The Lyman Alpha Morphology of Local Starburst Galaxies: Release of Calibrated Images
2009 (English)In: Astronomical Journal, ISSN 0004-6256, Vol. 138, no 3, 923-940 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We present reduced and calibrated high resolution Lyman-alpha (Lyα) images for a sample of six local star-forming galaxies. Targets were selected to represent a range in luminosity and metallicity and to include both known Lyα emitters and nonemitters. Far ultraviolet imaging was carried out with the Solar Blind Channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in the F122M (Lyα online) and F140LP (continuum) filters. The resulting Lyα images are the product of careful modeling of both the stellar and nebular continua, facilitated by supporting HST imaging at λ ≈ 2200, 3300, 4400, 5500, Hα, and 8000 Å, combined with Starburst 99 evolutionary synthesis models, and prescriptions for dust extinction on the continuum. In all, the resulting morphologies in Lyα, Hα, and UV continuum are qualitatively very different and we show that the bulk of Lyα emerges in a diffuse component resulting from resonant scattering events. Lyα escape fractions, computed from integrated Hα luminosities and recombination theory, are found never to exceed 14%. Internal dust extinction is estimated in each pixel and used to correct Lyα fluxes. However, the extinction corrections are far too small (by factors from 2.6 to infinity) to reconcile the emerging global Lyα luminosities with standard recombination predictions. Surprisingly, when comparing the global equivalent widths of Lyα and Hα, the two quantities appear to be anticorrelated, which may be due to the evolution of mechanical feedback from the starburst. This calls for caution in the interpretation of Lyα observations in terms of star formation rates. The images presented have a physical resolution 3 orders of magnitude better than attainable at high redshifts from the ground with current instrumentation and our images may therefore serve as useful templates for comparing with observations and modeling of primeval galaxy formation. We therefore provide the reduced Lyα, Hα, and continuum images to the community.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 138, no 3, 923-940 p.
galaxies: individual: Haro 11 SBS 033596, 052 IRAS 08339+6517 Tol 65 NGC6090 Tololo 1924-416, galaxies: ISM, galaxies: starburst, ultraviolet: galaxies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36178DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/138/3/923ISBN: 0004-6256OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-36178DiVA: diva2:288937